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The new normal

I don't know about you, but I am growing to hate the expression used to describe what we are living through. I sincerely hope that we are not truly to accept that Covid means these strange times are "the new normal". I have 4 kids at home, three are teens struggling to accept they can't meet up with friends, when in a classroom daily with them. For other parents of teens trying hard to help them accept the new rules, I feel your pain.


Although I'm long past the baby and toddler stage, I fully accept that Covid has many challenges for parents at that stage too. In fact, for my online writers' group this week, I tried to imagine how it must feel to have had a baby during lockdown, and how the restrictions put in place would affect those precious few months with a newborn. We all read a short story we had been working on, here's mine:


Nursery pickup


We stand on our allocated lines, you looking up at me from your cozy pram….oblivious to the strange times we are living in; after all, it’s all you’ve known. The friendly chit chat with other parents has gone, replaced with awkward silence as we await the children’s release.

The teachers, wearing masks with various Disney characters, bring the children out one by one, and keeping their distance, ensure each child is returned to their parent. I sigh, remembering the colourful waiting room from before lockdown, photos and artwork a welcome glimpse into how our little ones had spent their three hours away from home.

David skips over to meet us, a bundle of energy as always. “Can Archie come see my baby brother?” he asks; same question, different name very day.

“Sorry David, not at the moment, there’s still this nasty bug going about.”

With difficulty, I manoeuvre the pram around whilst still trying to maintain social distancing. This short walk to and from nursery every day is pretty much the extent of my life outside the house at the moment. The thought of baby Craig, or me, catching Covid, enough of a deterrent to keep me housebound. It’s hard not to overthink how much we’re both missing out on.

At home, David reluctantly changes his clothes, as the ones from nursery go straight in the wash, not because they’re dirty, but to prevent any contamination. I never thought of myself as suffering from OCD before, but now, maybe I am? The whole house smells of Dettol, and as Craig builds up to full crescendo from hunger, I force myself to stay calm. Sleep deprivation and the “new normal” are almost enough to make me join in with his desperate cries.

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Do you know anyone who has become a parent during Covid? How has the experience been for them? For people experiencing such an important lifetime event in very difficult circumstances, I'm thinking of you all.
















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